It was sometime in early 2014 when we had this lively discussion on a Whatsapp group on a possible Android App for birdwatchers to identify birds in the field. We decided to pursue it seriously and had a few meetings in MBK’s favourite haunt Koshy’s, a few nearby restaurants, CCDs and some homes with nice snacks and coffee being served.This laid the foundation for this app. Between the time we spend at work and home, some of us managed to complete build this app and release it. How glad I am that we managed it!
I am giving here some of the key features of the app with a little more details than what you will find on Play Store.
This feature identifies all the likely species that can be seen at the current location based on the distribution maps from the popular field guide – “Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (Second Edition) by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp”. The landing page of the app shows the number of shortlisted birds for the location.
It also allows you to explore the birds at the location by further filtering on criteria like season and size, and viewing their images.
The user can choose a different location, say Andaman islands, and explore the birds that can be seen in that place. This can be particularly useful when you are planning to visit a place.
You will see a map (opened at the current location at the centre) with all the hotspots located in the 30 km radius from the centre. These hotspots are picked from the e-bird database.
You can click on any hotspot to view the list of species that have been reported there in the last 30 days. In case you are interested in visiting this place, you can get driving direction, or even drive right away!
This can be particularly useful if you are visiting a place for the first time, and would like to know the hotspots in that location and drive to them.
This will let you log all the birds that you have seen during a field trip. This feature is similar to the eBird app from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, except that we cannot submit them directly to e-bird. This feature is planned to be added in the future.
The advantage with this version of the logger is that you will see ‘only’ the bird species that you can see in India. The names of the birds also will be as per the Grimmett / Inskipp field guide.
This feature lets you track particular bird(s) for their sighting. Once you add a bird of your interest, you will receive a notification if the bird(s) is reported in e-bird in the past 24 hours.
Opening the app will give you more details on the sighting like location, latitude/longitude, etc.. Clicking on a sighting will take you to the particular location at which the bird was reported on the Google maps.